According to the Labor Department, The US jobless rate dropped to 5.1% (the lowest since April 2008) when employers added 173,000 jobs in August. The average monthly gain in the past 12 months has been 247,000. The number is less than was initially forecasted, but the gain was stronger than gains reported in June and July. This indicates that employers were optimistic about increasing trends in US demand despite stress in world markets.
Of this 173,000, the number of temporary jobs increased by 10,700 after a decline in July. This means an increase of 4.3% from August of last year.
A big burst in local government jobs (mainly education), heath services, and leisure and hospitality are to thank for August’s job gain. In addition to general payroll, the average hourly earnings over the past month also increased by 0.3%. The average work week increased 34.6 hours, which is the longest it has been in six months.
Bloomberg states that the August data will be key in determining whether or not the improvement warrants an increase in the interest rate. Other factors that will go into this decision are financial markets and the development of the Chinese economy.
August also marked a full year with the national unemployment rate remaining below 6%.